The family of a man from North Carolina, who tragically lost his life when his car plunged off a collapsed bridge following Google Maps’ directions, intends to take legal action against the tech giant. They claim that Google had been notified about the bridge’s collapse but failed to update its navigation system.
Philip Baxton, a sales representative and father of two, drowned in Snow Creek in the Hickory area on September 30, 2022. According to a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Wake County on Tuesday, Google’s maps directed Baxton to cross a bridge that had collapsed nine years prior and had not been repaired.
In a press statement, his wife, Alicia Baxton, expressed, “Our two daughters are now asking how and why their father died, and I don’t know how to provide them with an answer. It’s difficult for me to comprehend the indifference shown towards navigation system inaccuracies that led to the loss of human life.”
Police officers who discovered Baxton’s nearly submerged car reported that there were no barriers or warning signs along the flooded road.
The state patrol indicated that the bridge had not undergone maintenance by local or state authorities, and the development company responsible for its initial construction had dissolved. Several lawsuits have been filed against private property management companies believed to be responsible for the bridge and adjacent land.
Numerous individuals had alerted Google to the bridge’s collapse in the years leading up to Baxton’s tragic death, urging the company to update its road information, according to the lawsuit.